Defense, depth on display in Utah spring game


Marcus Williams capped off Utah's spring game with a 99-yard interception return for a score. That, by most accounts, was the most exciting occurrence of the Utes' Saturday exhibition, which was reportedly stale offensively and didn't even feature quarterback Travis Wilson.

Both he and Kendal Thompson -- Utah's other familiar face under center -- watched from the sidelines, along with several other expected regulars. Coach Kyle Whittingham didn't want to risk any injuries at the end of a successful stretch.

"We had a good spring," he told the Salt Lake Tribune. "There were no bad practices."

Although he didn't practice, Thompson enjoyed a particularly productive spring. This report indicates that the quarterback is blazing through his recovery from the ACL injury suffered against Oregon last season. Remarkably, it sounds like Thompson could have participated in spring ball, though there obviously was no reason to rush a return. He should be cleared in May -- six months after the injury.

So a competition between Thompson and Wilson seems certain come August, as does further clarity regarding the Utes' offense. Kurt Kragthorpe writes that it's a matter of faith on that side of the ball right now: Utah features many potential offensive weapons, but they aren't planning to simultaneously display them until Jim Harbaugh and Michigan come calling in about four months.

In the meantime, hope abounds for the 2015 Utes as they enter summer. The long conditioning phase is next, one that Whittingham hopes will harden his roster for the challenge of building on the 9-4 success of 2014.